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Passions and Deceptions:
The Early Films of Ernst Lubitsch
Sabine Hake

Paperback | 1992 | $47.95 | £39.95 | ISBN: 9780691008783
232 pp. | 6 x 9
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A collaborator with Warner Brothers and Paramount in the early days of sound film, the German film director Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) is famous for his sense of ironic detachment and for the eroticism he infused into such comedies as So This Is Paris and Trouble in Paradise. In a general introduction to his silent and early sound films (1914-1932) and in close readings of his comedies, Sabine Hake focuses on the visual strategies Lubitsch used to convey irony and analyzes his contribution to the rise of classical narrative cinema. Exploring Lubitsch's depiction of femininity and the influence of his early German films on his entire career, she argues that his comedies represent an important outlet for dealing with sexual and cultural differences. The readings cover The Oyster Princess, The Doll, The Mountain Cat, Passion, Deception, So This Is Paris, Monte Carlo, and Trouble in Paradise, which are interpreted as part of an underlying process of negotiation between different modes of representation, narration, and spectatorship--a process that comprises the conditions of production in two different national cinemas and the ongoing changes in film technology. Drawing attention to Lubitsch's previously neglected German films, this book presents the years until 1922 as the formative period in his career.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Introduction 3
Pt. I The Early Lubitsch - An Overview
1 From Comic Actor to Film Director, 1914-1918 25
2 The German Feature Films, 1918-1922 37
3 Hollywood - The Silent Films, 1923-1929 58
4 The American Sound Films, 1929-1932 70
Pt. II Film Analyses
5 Wayward Women: The Oyster Princess, The Doll, and The Mountain Cat 81
6 The Period Film as Palimpsest: On Passion and Deception 114
7 The Tyranny of Vision: So This Is Paris and Others 139
8 Exploring the Boundaries of Sound: Monte Carlo 159
9 The Object, the Image, the Cinema: Trouble in Paradise 175
Afterword 200
Select Bibliography 207
Index 211

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